Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spring, Life Reinventing Itself

Another spring...

This is when we enliven our faith in humanity and look towards a brighter future.

The soul is a precise gift and makes the human experience different, transcending into a higher level from other living creatures.

The atrocities in this world, and the monsters that exist because they reject the moral cry of the soul, are heard about everyday. We are bombarded by the news - bad news, about how one person can hurt another human.

We  need to hear more often about the goodness that resides in human beings - that inner strength of moral character, our salvation - our promise and hope for a brighter future.

On this holiday season of Passover, Easter and spring -

I invite you to think about something good and make it a practice to do this each day. 

Let it become part of you.

We become what we aspire to - we are what we learn.

Our behavior can be improved each day with just the smallest of reminders, the tiniest thought can bloom into a great action of love.

Never underestimate the little things in life.


 Keep reading - Keep writing!



RIP - Thinking of you with a smile - Happy Easter

Dana R Labbee


Lisa Horzazuk

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Writing Process - Author Blog Hop

Today is Blog Tour Day!

This blog tour is where writers and authors answer questions about their writing process. My friend Fiona Phillips posted last week. You can check out her writing process HERE.  I wish her much success with her newest work in progress Haven Falling.  I read some of her rough draft sentences during a Facebook event with the group Blooming Late Authors and was amazed with her creativity, and looking forward to reading the finished story.

Below I answered the four questions regarding my writing process
Stay tuned to follow next week’s posts, and read about my talented friends’ writing process – they are unique writers. Please check out their web sites.

Four Questions Answered

What am I working on?
Currently I am writing the second book of a family saga I call 
Curses & Secrets.

Exposing Secret Sins is a story that focuses on Michelle, the younger sister. I love this story! It is a supernatural tale and family drama of three siblings who are lost, desperately feeling their way back to normal (if there is such a thing!). The exploration of the new villains and the family dysfunctions is enjoyable.  

My debut novel Breaking Cursed Bonds was released last fall, the first book about this family, and I have been learning a lot about marketing.  Every day I learn something new – and that is an exhilarating experience.

How does my work differ from others of its genre? 
My stories include paranormal and supernatural elements, but I also like to use real history as a means to bring strange events into the believable realm. In my first book I centered the curse on the Timucua culture and ceremonies, and touched on some History while finding the origin of the curse.
In the second story, my work in progress, an old Blackfeet ceremony is explored as a link between the supernatural and real human monsters. There is less history this time and more action in this story. I learn a lot as I write & research and hope my readers do also. Of course, there is romance too.

Why do I write what I do?
I have always had stories in my head, and for years that’s where they remained. Now that I have time to devote to writing, and well let’s just say a door opened that will never be closed again. I work at making each new piece better, honing my skill. It is refreshing to be able to see progress, to touch a finished project. That was never possible when working in the business world.
  I Jumped! Into Writing… after a loss in our family jarred me into the realization that time is short and it’s not waiting for me. I needed to express myself, and to make sense of the horror and tragedy we have in the world today. Writing does this for me, so now I write. If you want to do something – do it now, before it’s too late.

How does your writing process work?
My process is flexible, but I like to write first thing in the morning when I can. Some days I start and finish at my desk, not even taking a break (I am reviewing my ideas while I make pit stops). Some days my focus is so zeroed in that I lose track of time completely. If I begin a day tapping into social media, the same can happen, so I try to stay away until later on in the day.
  • First when I write a new story I like to make skeleton draft – listing the basic idea (usually in a few sentences), some characters to begin the story, and a few obstacles that come to mind. I read to help develop an idea.
  • Second I write short character sketches, leaving the documents open, so as I write I can add to them and keep track of attributes added.
  • Third I write.  I let the idea develop as I write and try not to block anything.
  • Fourth, once a story draft is finished, I move things around; creating chapters if I think more development is needed, or put to the side anything that seems unrelated to the story that came forward in the writing frenzy. I use the delete key a lot!
·        The last step is never ending – I edit!
I look for character development, check for inaccuracies.  I go through the story looking to gel ideas, correct spelling, punctuation. I look again for passive voice and checking for verb tense. I follow the tension highs and lows.  As I read more about the writing process, I learn about more things to check. I read my words and edit. I write more words and edit.

 I will never be finished editing, and like Walt Whitman, I will end up with revision after revision, unless new stories ideas pop in my head to ward off my internal editor.

That’s my writing experience. Writing, reading, editing – a cycle.  Nothing earth shattering, but definitely a lot of hard work and fun. I received a high reward today from my Alpha reader (my husband) He doesn’t have time to read a lot, but he is brutally honest and not afraid to give critique when he has the time to read. 
This morning he finished my rough draft of Exposing Secret Sins and gave his thumbs up. He said it was a good thriller, he enjoyed the story and to fix the mistakes he highlighted.  
My kind of review!

Thank you for joining our Author Blog Hop!
Please visit my friend’s websites and look for posts next week.


Cindy Vine is a South African author and teacher currently living and working in Kyiv Ukraine.  Besides writing, she loves to travel and experiment in the kitchen.  Her current work in progress will be called Around the World on 80 Plates and combines her love of cooking, traveling and writing.  Cindy Vine is the author of Hush Baby, Defective and The Case of Billy B.

Beth Camp, an indie author, writes historical fiction, blogs, and quilts with equal passion. For April, she’s writing a poem a day for the A to Z Blogging Challenge, revising Years of Stone (Book 2: The McDonnell Clan), and holding her breath for Round 2 of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition.

Also check out Susan Fleet, trumpeter, author and crime novelist, music historian. Find out more about her HERE     Frank Renzi crime thriller series  Blog

Keep reading – Keep writing!